Ulcers and Disability Benefits

Ulcers can develop in any soft tissue of the body but are most common in the digestive tract and on the skin. Ulcers alone rarely qualify for disability benefits, but when they are severe, chronic or long-term, and prevent gainful employment, they can meet Social Security Disability (SSD) medical eligibility requirements.

Ulcers are often seen in combination with other medical conditions. The combined effects of multiple medical issues can satisfy the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) severity level requirements for granting disability benefits as well.

Medically Qualifying with Ulcers

Ulcers can develop in many places, but skin and gastrointestinal ulcers are the most common. The Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a listing of disabling condition within its Blue Book. Although there is no listing for ulcers, there are other listings under which you may qualify for benefits, including:

  • Section 5.02 – for bleeding ulcers in the gastrointestinal system
  • Section 5.06 – for ulcerative colitis
  • Section 8.04 - for chronic ulcers on the skin and in the mucous membranes
  • Section 8.05 – for chronic ulcers associated with Hidradentis suppurativa

Ulcers may be associated with a number of other medical conditions, any of which may be able to qualify for benefits. The SSA first reviews your medical records to see if your condition meets or matches a disability listing in the Blue Book. If it does not, then the SSA will review your functional capacity to see if you qualify for benefits despite not meeting a disability listing.

Regardless of how the SSA reviews your claim, your application must be supported by extensive medical records, including:

  • A formal diagnosis and a statement from your doctor, detailing your symptoms and their affect on your everyday abilities, including your ability to work
  • Hospitalization records, including emergency room visits or blood transfusions required as a result of bleeding ulcers
  • Medications, dietary changes, and other treatments attempted and their results
  • Records of other medical conditions you may have that also contribute to your everyday challenges and your inability to work
  • Work history details and information on your rate of pay in former jobs
  • Financial documentation, including details of all sources of income and your other financial resources

Getting Help with Your Claim

A disability claim based on ulcers alone can be challenging to prove. Even when ulcers are one of multiple medical conditions for which you file a claim, getting disability benefits can still be difficult. It is important to prepare a strong case, including ample evidence of how your medical condition affects your everyday life as well as your ability to work.

A Social Security advocate or attorney can be instrumental in winning a claim for SSD benefits. He or she can provide guidance and assist with collecting evidence. If you are initially denied benefits, an attorney or advocate can additionally help you prepare for an appeal.